Easy Leek and Lemon Risotto with Green Peas and Spinach
Welcome back to another Kiah’s Kitchen recipe post! Today I am sharing this easy yet delicious Leek and Lemon Risotto with Green Peas and Spinach.
This recipe came about for a few reasons, firstly, my lemon tree is doing exceptionally well right now, it is overcrowded with lemons and I need to find some creative ways to use them!
Secondly, I cleaned out my pantry a few weeks back (when it comes to my pantry and my fridge I am an organisation freak) which is pretty clean at the best of times, but I did a little stock take of what I had in there and reorganised some jars etc. When I did this I cam across a packet of unopened arborio rice that need to be used by November 2019. Now, I HATE food waste so that automatically meant risotto was on the menu at some point in September and probably will be again in October.
Thirdly, after the success of my last risotto recipe which I received a lot of great feedback on (recipe here) I decided to try creating another!
So, all I knew is I had to make a lemon risotto but as far as what to add to it I decided to see what was on special at the green grocers, which is where I found the bunch of three leeks on sale and huge bag of baby spinach that I buy every week. I added in the peas because I feel like they go well with lemon and added a bit more green!
Risotto is a bit of a labour of love, it’s not hard but just requires a lot of attention compared to something that you just stick in the oven and forget about. I don’t mind this too much though, the ingredients took no time at all to prep and it can be pretty relaxing to stand there and gently stir the rice, you could multitask if that’s your thing, maybe chat to a friend, listen to a podcast, audio book or even a YouTube video, you never know what you might learn.
The flavours in this dish turned out great, the lemon was just the right amount without being too overpowering and the leek added the lovely delicate allium flavour that it needed.
I do hope you give this recipe a try, maybe you have a lemon tree of your own or a friend/family member has gifted you some off theirs. If you do make this, please let me know how you liked it either in the comments below or over on Instagram, I love hearing from you! If you’d like to see more recipes like this, feel free to subscribe via email so you are notified each time I publish a new post.
Until next time, take care and eat well!
P.S. Apologies for the quality of photos in this post, once I finished cooking and pulled out my camera I realised both batteries were flat (fail) so ended up taking the photos using Nathan’s iPhone!
Easy Leek and Lemon Risotto with Green Peas and Spinach
This is a deliciously flavourful and easy to make risotto using fresh lemon, leek, green peas and spinach. The lemon flavour is refreshing without being overpowering, a great recipe for spring but would work at any time of year! The veggies could also be swapped out for whatever you have on hand, don't be afraid to experiment!
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 small leeks washed and thinly sliced, white and light green section only
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and finely diced or minced
- 1.5 cups arborio rice rinsed
- 2 whole lemons zested
- 1 heaped cup frozen green peas
- 2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach
- 5 cups quality vegetable stock
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (plus more for serving) substitute nutritional yeast for vegan/dairy free alternative
- 1/5 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 tsp salt and pepper to taste
Pour stock and water into a small pot and bring to a gentle simmer over a medium heat before reducing to a low heat to keep warm
While the stock/water is warming, prepare all ingredients as per the ingredient list above - to prepare the leeks, make sure to use only the white and light green section, slice in half lengthways, thouroughly rinse with water and then thinly slice
Place a large wok or pan over a medium heat and add olive oil
Once oil is warm, add the sliced leek and minced garlic, saute for 3 - 4 minutes until transluscent
Add the rinsed aborio rice and stir well to coat in the remaining oil, saute for 3 minutes or so until rice looks a little transluscent
Add the white wine and stir well until it is absorbed into the rice, you may need to adjust the heat a little lower
Add 1-2 ladles of warm stock and continue to stir rice gently until stock is absorbed before adding another 1-2 ladles of stock - repeat this process until you rice is cooked
You should be able to start testing the rice after about 15 minutes, however it will generally take about 20 minutes, the rice is ready when you can easily bite through, there should be a little firmness in the middle (you don't want mush) but it shouldn't be crunchy
Add in the zest of the two lemons, the juice of one of the lemons, the parmesan cheese, the green peas and the baby spinach
Stir well until peas are cooked through and spinach is wilted
Season with salt and pepper to taste
Serve in bowls topped with liberal amounts of parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast) and freshly chopped parsley leaves
Risotto is generally best eaten fresh, rice doesn't tend to freeze too well, however if you do happen to have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 1-2 days. Instead of microwaving I recommend heating on the stove with some more stock.
If you don't have the vegetables called for in this recipe, why not use what you do have? This is completely customisable you can substitute for the produce you have on hand!